Titel: Arthur of the Britons
Nederlandse/Belgische titel: Koning Arthur
Uitgebracht: Nederland, 3 augustus 1973 / België, 15 maart 1973
Genre: Fantasy/Avontuur | 30 min. | .. jaar
Productiemaatschappij: = Harlech Television (HTV) - TVserie (1972 - 1973) | Budget: …
Oorspronkelijk uitgebracht: UK, 6 december 1972
Boek als: -
Strip als: -
Hoorspel / Luisterboek als: -
Acteurs / Stemmen o.a.:
= Tobias, Oliver - (Arthur (24 episodes, 1972-1973)
= Gothard, Michael - (Kai (24 episodes, 1972-1973)
= Watson, Jack - (Llud (24 episodes, 1972-1973)
= Blessed, Brian - (Mark of Cornwall (7 episodes, 1972-1973)
= Weitershausen, Gila von - (Rowena (6 episodes, 1973)
= Marischka, Georg - (Yorath (5 episodes, 1973)
Set in the Dark Ages a century after the Roman withdrawal from Britain and during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, Arthur is not a glamorous king with an elaborate court; instead, he is (as presumed by some historians ) just a Celtic leader who installs and maintains a Celtic alliance against the Saxon invaders. He is instructed by his adoptive father Llud and assisted by Kai, a Saxon orphan reared as Arthur's brother. His greatest rival is his cousin, Mark of Cornwall. The Jute chief Yorath and his daughter Rowena are in the beginning allies against the Saxons but finally use their special position to mediate peace negotiations between the Celts and the Saxons. Cerdig, chieftain of the Saxons, is Arthur's principal counterpart who in the episode “The Treaty” even insults him as a man “with many brothers but no father” but learns to respect him in the end.
The series dispenses with the legendary Round Table and popular figures such as Merlin, Guinevere and Lancelot and attaches no significance to magic or superstition. Neither Arthur nor his fellow celts are at any time clad in shining armour. Arthur is once again portrayed as a skilled fighter but especially as a cunning politician who eventually comes to good terms with the Saxons. After he has created the basics for a peaceful coexistence between his folks and the Saxons, he falls in love with a Roman princess (last episode, “The Girl From Rome”) called Benedicta (portrayed by Catherine Schell) who wants to live with him in Rome. But Arthur refuses to leave the land and people he loves, and she leaves along with her escort, though it is hinted that she may return.
While other films about him simply avoid the question of his origin and show him merely as a man of superior integrity who defends Christian Britain against heathen barbarians, this TV show sees him as one of the Britons who were already in Great Britain before the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans came, and hence, a Celt.
Arthur of the Britons is a British television show about the historical King Arthur. Produced by the HTV regional franchise, it consisted of two series, released between 1972 and 1973. ITV had already a reputation for entertaining historical TV shows that would display adventure and swordplay, such as The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1956), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955), The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956), Ivanhoe (1958) and Sir Francis Drake (1961). Like Richard Lionheart in the TV shows about Robin Hood and Ivanhoe this King Arthur shows greatness by making peace between the two foremost peoples in the England of his era. The looks of King Arthur and his brother-in-arms Kai resemble contemporary rockstars. Arthur of the Britons was broadcast repeatedly on numerous local ITV stations during the 1970s and 1980s.